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The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra has a rich and lengthy history.  

1883 - 1960
The Los Angeles Conservatory of Music (LACM) establishes and sponsors a curriculum which includes an orchestra for high school students with outstanding musical talent.

Walt Disney and his brother, Roy O. Disney, guide the merger of the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music, founded in 1883, and the Chouinard Art Institute, founded in 1921. The resulting entity is incorporated as California Institute of the Arts.

The LACM moves to CalArts and becomes the School of Music Youth Orchestra.

CalArts supports the formation of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation which is established to administer and raise funds for the orchestra program.  The Foundation is established in October 1986 by Dave and Sue Bozman, as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization.

The CalArts School of Music Youth Orchestra relocates to College of the Canyons at the invitation of the new chancellor, Dr. Dianne Van Hook, and changes its name to the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra.

Growing enrollment and advancing skill levels leads the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra program to add a successful Prelude Strings section for younger elementary school-aged musicians, and act as a feeder ensemble to the more challenging advanced ensemble.

The SCVYO further re-organizes to incorporate intermediate and advanced level ensembles, to provide musicians continued growth and development in their instrumental music education.  

The SCVYO remains the preeminent and only non-school based youth orchestra program in the Santa Clarita Valley. Continuing to provide exemplary musical education and performance opportunities and to meet the growing needs and interests of the community and surrounding areas, the SCVYO introduces Guitar Orchestra, Prelude Winds and Brass, the SCV Brass Ensemble and Chamber Music ensembles to our existing core orchestral offerings.  

Novae Sinfonia, a classical cross-over ensemble for our advanced musicians, is introduced, with emphasis on 21st Century, non-Western musical genres, as well as the standard canon of classical repertoire. 

The SCVYO celebrates 30 years in residency at College of the Canyons. We look forward to continuing our collaborative efforts of providing exemplary musical education and performance opportunities through expert instruction in an ethnically diverse setting, thus enriching the cultural life of our community, and beyond.

Dr. Paul Sherman acted as executive artistic director from 2007-2017, overseeing the SCVYO faculty and our seven ensembles, culminating his 35 year tenure with the SCVYO which he started as youth orchestra student musician, CalArts winds coach, associate conductor, and finally SCVYO artistic director and conductor of our advanced ensemble. 

Derrick Spiva, Jr., award-winning composer, musician and conductor was appointed by the SCVYO Foundation as artistic director in 2017.  Derrick brings a global perspective to his compositions and teaching style. He is the creator and artistic founder of our newest ensemble, Novae Sinfonia.  

Several of our young musicians have had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall during their tenure with the SCVYO, and many of our students have gone on to prestigious music conservatories such as Eastman School of Music, California Institute of the Arts, University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Juilliard School of Music, Cal Poly School of Music, Curtis School of Music, Tanglewood Summer Institute & Interlaken. Others have gone to outstanding colleges and universities, including Harvard, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Irvine, Texas State, Northern Arizona University, USC, CSU-Northridge, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and many other distinguished universities throughout the Country where our alumni have continued to be involved in music while completing their higher education.